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A week ago, I wrote about Lesley Stahl's obvious,no-brainer, significant conflict of interest. I wrote to CBS asking for an explanation. Crickets. Are we going to let this nonsense continue? YOU WON!!!! SEE UPDATE BELOW!!!!

So that people don't have to click away, the summary is this: Stahl is a member of the Advisory Board of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.  Peterson has bankrolled the campaign promoting the phony debt and deficit "crisis"--a campaign aimed primarily at attacking the social safety net and Social Security.

It is unconscionable--if not surprising--that Stahl would serve on a board of a deeply partisan organization. Yet, CBS apparently does not care.

Truthfully, the stonewalling is a function of the ability to ignore one tiny voice (MINE).


I'm not saying this is the most important thing on the planet right now. BUT...this is a great example of how the elites in politics and media operate without any shred of accountability or adherence to ethical standards. And, in this case, CBS' own published ethical standards.

We can say we are not surprised.

BUT--this has consequences.

Pete Peterson is underwriting an attack against part of what remains of a decent society (and I note, with some irony, the article currently on the NYTimes website entitled, "Economists See Deficit Emphasis as Impeding Recovery"--fuck, no shit, Sherlock...except the Times has been promoting the phony crisis for months. Oh well).

PLEASE CONSIDER CALLING: Jeff Fager is the executive producer of CBS News. His telephone number is 212 975-1073. Call him.

Others to contact:

John Frazee

Senior VP, News Services

Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews

VP, News

Frank Governale

VP, News Operations

Here is the letter I wrote to CBS (and apologies: I originally misspelled Stahl's first name--dumb. I partly blame an old friend who spells it the right way...)

To: John Frazee Senior Vice President, CBS News Services

      Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, Vice President, CBS News

      Frank Governale, Vice President, CBS News Operations

Re: Leslie Stahl's Service on the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Advisory Board

I am writing to inquire about CBS' view regarding the service of "60 Minutes" correspondent Leslie Stahl on the advisory board of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. As I outlined in a report on Working Life, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation serves as a vehicle to promote a highly partisan public policy position. One would assume that service on such a board by a journalist would be prohibited as an obvious violation of the most basic journalistic standards. The background of the issue is explored here:

I would request answers to several questions:

1. Does Ms. Stahl's service adhere to the ethical guidelines set forth by CBS?

2. If her service violates the guidelines, is it the intention on the part of CBS management to direct Ms. Stahl to resign her position on the advisory board and/or impose any kind of sanction on Ms. Stahl?

3. Was anyone aware, at the management level of CBS news, about Ms. Stahl's service?

4. Did she explicitly request permission to serve on the advisory board? If the answer is yes, can you provide documentation for such a request?

5. If such a request was not made, is that failure grounds for any discipline on the part of CBS management if, in fact, such service is permitted with prior approval?

Any answers you provide will be posted publicly on Working Life and made available to others.


Jonathan Tasini


Working Life

[note: due to being on another side of the planet, I won't be on-line for a number of hours so apologies for not answering questions right away. BUT YOU CAN ORGANIZE WITHOUT ME!!!LOL)

2:00 PM PT: Obviously, people can discuss what they choose. BUT...personally, I'd like people to call and email if you agree with this issue. Activism, comrades!

9:43 PM PT: YOU WON!!!!

After I saw commonscribe's comment way below that the link wasn't accurate. I checked myself.




Of course, there is no acknowledgment by CBS whether the service was in violation of ethical standards. That still needs to be determined.

Is this the most important issue? No. But, it does help to keep the media somewhat honest.

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